winter water?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hensonly, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Songster

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    Hey, all,

    My DH and I are considering getting some ducks, mostly for pest control purposes. My question is, do they need water to swim in during the winter? We have a pond, so three seasons of the year are taken care of, but what about winter? What kind of housing do ducks need for winter - how hardy are they? OUr upstate NY winters are long and can be in the teens for days on end...

  2. CityChicker

    CityChicker Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    Ducks are very hardy and generally do well in the winter with minimal protection. They need less in the way of housing than chickens do. As long as they have some way to get out of the cold/snow when they want/need to, they should be fine. Usually just a small uninsulated house is fine. A lot of times even just a three sided shelter is fine, but you might do a little more because of your area.

    As far as swimming water, no- they don't need access to that.
  3. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    In the winter I use a 3 gallon black rubber bowl for water. I fill a bucket with warm water in the house, then carry it outside, flip the rubber bowl over and kick the ice out, and fill it with the warm water. The rubber keeps the water from freezing for a long time.

    Ducks are very tolerant of cold temps, but they will need to be locked up at night in a coop to keep them safe from predators. I lost a duck last fall to an owl because I wasn't shutting them in a coop at night. During the day, they rarely use the coop, unless it's very windy. My ducks like to sleep out on the snowbanks in their run in the winter.
  4. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Songster

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    There is an abandoned house beside my neighbor, and there is a small pond that buts up against his horse pen. My ducks go through the horse pen to the pond in the summer, and they don't hesitate to go over in the winter either. Even if there is just a tiny little circle of broken ice for them to swim in, they are in it. So if your pond doesn't freeze to thick, or if you have generally mild winters like we tend to have, they will still go over there and break the thin ice to swim in.

    Other than that, they don't HAVE to have water to swim in, you make sure their water is deep enough for them to submerge their whole head.

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